Book 4, Chapter 96

Another Mana Armament

Richard was sitting face to face with Flowsand, a pained expression on his face, “I’ve been to a battlefield of despair, I know why planar wars happen. But I still don’t like it, I don’t want to fight if it isn’t needed. Why are we always killing each other? There was no meaning in the hundreds of thousands of people dying here.”

Flowsand creased her brows, glaring at Richard fiercely, “You really want to know?”

“Yes!” Richard was undeterred.

“See for yourself then!” she shoved the Book of Time over to him.

Richard took the blank Book of Time and focused on it, the power of time gradually lighting up a few words on the page: ‘If you do not attack others, others will attack you.’

He was rather confused by this coarse answer, refusing to accept it. Just as he was about to convey this, however, Flowsand reached out and flipped the page. Another row of words revealed itself: ‘Only the victors have the right to dwell on the necessity of war.’

Richard started pondering once again.

“You’ve been too busy lately,” she said harshly as she took the book back from him, a hidden meaning behind her words.

Richard sat there thinking for a long time, a radiant smile slowly creeping onto his face. He eventually turned back to the priestess in front of him, “I’m sorry. It’s just that far too many people rely on me now, I can’t throw away their faith. You’re still the only one I can be honest with…”

Flowsand’s eyes brightened, the anger she felt dissipating inexplicably. She lowered her head and continued flipping through the book, “That… It’s nothing, the Book of Time can answer any question.”

Richard stretched languidly, the gloom now entirely gone, “Don’t worry, I know what to do now.”

He left her room and headed back to his laboratory, finding Rosie within focused on her runecrafting. When she eventually noticed his presence, she recounted her entire conversation with Raymond except for their parting words.

“He has some good points,” Richard commented as he walked around the lab, “The thing about the families being lions makes a lot of sense. But, it isn’t exactly how he talks about it either… Anyway,” he suddenly stopped right in front of her, “You asked all this for my sake?”

“Yes,” Rosie answered calmly.

He didn’t ask her how she knew of his problems. He hadn’t exactly been stealthy in his conversation with Raymond after the war. Still, he sighed, “You’re really too clever.”

Rosie met his gaze head-on, “I’m only afraid of two things these days. The first is me not being clever enough, and the second is you not trusting me.”

Richard looked deeply into her clear eyes. No matter how intense his stare grew, she didn’t waver in the slightest. Eventually he just sighed, shaking his head, “How did I manage to get you as a stake from a stupid duel?”

“I guess I owed you something in a past life,” she laughed faintly.

“Ugh…” He didn’t know how to respond to that.

Giving up on the conversation, he looked at the materials that he’d piled up on his own desk and waved Rosie over, taking his pen to begin on some arrays.

He went through a total of twelve, each progressively more difficult than the last. Even the first was more complicated than Rosie could draw right now, and the last one needed the mana pool of a level 14 mage to draw. Rosie stood by his side, all her attention focused on his every action. She didn’t dare to blink.

Richard’s hands were far too stable, to the point that she sometimes doubted whether he was even a mortal. Only now that she had some experience in the craft did she understand just how gifted he was. Every rune he crafted was flawless, approaching or even exceeding the best textbook designs. Textbooks on magic arrays could often only be written down by grand mage scholars that had delved into the field for many years; the runes and arrays of normal runemasters were far too imperfect to use as a guide. This was also why the mages of Solomon were famous; their researchers were extremely capable at penning their discoveries.

Neither of them noticed two hours passing by. It was only when Rosie relaxed that her vision went dark for a moment, telling her just how long she’d been standing there. Over all of this time, Richard hadn’t made the tiniest of mistakes.

Richard put his pen away and turned to her, putting a rune design on the table, “Practice these arrays for your runecrafting from today, make sure to perfect each one before you move on. When you can draw every single one without any errors, this will be yours.”

Rosie took one look at the design and felt her heart quicken, pounding so hard it felt like it would jump out of her chest, “Mana Armament!”

“Once you can craft this rune, you won’t need to worry about what I think of you anymore. Here’s a chance to observe, I’m going to craft one right now.”

Over the next three days, Richard didn’t step out of the laboratory at all. He didn’t so much as eat, subsisting on only a few glasses of water as he poured everything into the world of runecrafting. This time, Rosie was the exact same. Flowsand had snuck in twice to watch them at work, stealthily leaving a few bottles of water for them every time.

When it was finally done, Richard waved his fist in the air and roared into the air. Another Mana Armament rune had been completed, and it was done in one sitting with no flaws! From this day forth, he would have no problems crafting any grade 3 runes.

In the middle of his ecstasy, Richard suddenly heard a dull thud by his side. Rosie had collapsed onto the floor, completely blacked out. He had to hurry and check on her condition, only breathing a sigh of relief after realising it was only exhaustion. He carried her onto the bed in the lab, feeding her a potion of vitality before leaving the girl to sleep,

Strong sunlight forced him to squint for the first few minutes he was outside. It was noon. Terrifying roars were resounding from the direction of the barracks, seemingly shaking half the Bluewater Oasis. Even the weakest of ogres was very loud, and Tiramisu had two heads.

“OI TIRAMISU, RARE, SHUT UP!” Richard was almost dazed by the loud screams, having to amplify his voice to drown out the ogre.

“Sorry, boss!” Tiramisu scratched his head apologetically, sitting down on the ground.

“You’re the noisiest!” the newborn head cried out.

“You’re the one who made the noise first!” Tiramisu roared in response.

SHUT UP!” Richard had to yell again, finally forcing the two heads to shut up. Tiramisu had insisted on calling the second head Medium Rare when it sprouted out, and Richard could not refuse the sentiment. The second head had accepted the name as well, seeming like it had been around for tens of years with an intellect not inferior to the main body. Tiramisu’s body had grown once more as well. He was now 3.5 metres tall, only able to talk face-to-face with Richard by sitting on the floor.

However, Richard knew that two-headed ogres actually had only one soul. The second brain just represented a different aspect of the same existence. Ogres with two souls were extremely rare and powerful, veritable tyrants of their race.

There was a reason for Tiramisu’s restlessness this time: he had noticed the Mana Armament rune in Richard’s hands. Two brains and three eyes were focused on this rune, the ogre’s noses sensitive enough to smell its power. Although ogres looked rather foolish, they were deceptively intelligent. A two-headed ogre was even comparable to most human intellectuals.

Tiramisu stretched out his large hand, carefully taking the rune from Richard as his main head giggled, “Boss, Gangdor will run away from me every time he sees me now. If he wants to fight—”

“He’ll be beaten like a rabbit!” Medium Rare continued.

……

An exciting battle ensued at high noon in the training grounds, Tiramisu on one side with Gangdor on the other. Both of them were level 15, but the match-up was heavily tilted in one side’s favour. Tiramisu had astonishingly heavy armour, and the two hammers he normally carried were replaced by one hammer and a three-metre-tall shield. Sparks travelled all over the ogre’s body as he rushed Gangdor repeatedly, not much slower than the warrior who was almost half his size.

Gangdor made a big fuss about it, but eventually had no option but to give up. He had no way to fight an immensely strong, lightning-fast armoured ogre. His epic axe and steel plate armour were definitely not enough to win this battle.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA